Steve Kerr wasted no time and minced no words: The lies flying off the tongue of President Donald Trump directly influenced and incited the storming of the U.S. Capitol building in Washington D.C. on Wednesday.
The Warriors coach woke up with basketball on his mind, to devise a plan for the Warriors against the Clippers, and quickly pivoted to news of global significance.
“I started today thinking about how we were going to guard Lou Williams without fouling him,” Kerr said. “And suddenly that didn't seem quite as important when I turned the TV on as shootaround was beginning.
“Just a bizarre scene, but a pretty clear reminder that the truth matters. We’ve been talking about this for years, but the truth matters in our country and anywhere, in any circumstance, because of the repercussions if we allow lies to spread. And if we enable people in powers to lie, you all of a sudden have millions of people who are doubting an election that was certified in every state.”
Trump’s supporters have been following the lead of his incendiary rhetoric, even citing the Constitution as he ignores its script. It reached a fever pitch on Wednesday, when thousands of them breached security at the Capitol building, sending politicians and aides scrambling for cover.
Trump has consistently challenged the result of an 2020 U.S. Presidential election that has been counted, recounted and certified by member of both major political parties. Joe Biden is president-elect. Trump’s tumultuous four-year term is over, and he is obligated to vacate the White before Inauguration Day on Jan. 20.
“We had seven to eight million more people vote for Biden than for Trump. Every state has certified those results. Every court appeal has been turned down. A legitimate election is suddenly questioned by millions of people, including many of the people who are leading our country in government, because we've decided to over the last few years allow lies to be told. This is who we are. You reap what you sow.”
Kerr is a noted activist, with a passion for gun laws and social justice. He is a member of the NBA group that last summer formed the Coaches for Racial Justice committee. Among others on the committee led by Atlanta Hawks coach Lloyd Pierce are San Antonio Spurs coach Gregg Popovich and Philadelphia 76ers coach Doc Rivers.
Speaking 90 minutes before the tipoff at Chase Center, Kerr also cited the complicity of the politicians who have aligned with Trump in his quest to overturn the election. It’s an issue that stridently divides the nation and threatens the sanctity of the election process, if not democracy itself.
“I wish that people like (Texas senator) Ted Cruz and (Florida senator) Marco Rubio and (Missouri senator) Josh Hawley had to do pregame media before they meet in Congress,” Kerr said, twinkle in his eye. “It would be great for them to have to answer the question: ‘Are you happy now?’ ‘Where is there is the line?’ You keep moving the line back. ‘Does this change anything, or you're going to continue to enable?”
Kerr expressed particular pride in the efforts of the WNBA, a driving force behind the change that resulted in historically conservative Georgia electing progressives Jon Ossoff and Rev. Raphael Warnock to the senate on Tuesday night.
“It's amazing that athletes today – WNBA players, NBA players, athletes from all different sports – are comfortable and confident in speaking their minds,” Kerr said, “and trying to help create change in this country in areas where they feel change is needed. It's very, very inspiring.”